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Getting a Second Opinion when it seems (if even for a Moment) that the Writing Looks Like Trash

Posted on Apr 8, 2007 by

Well, my first response to the woman with her boxes lined up out on the curb was to call her back. I asked her if the trash truck had come yet. It hadn’t. “Do you want my advice?” I asked. She said that she did. I said that when she came in the next time we could talk more about it, if she wanted, but for now I thought she should simply haul it back in, all of it, that her writing was much too valuable to be sitting out on the curb.

She ended up hauling it back in. And later I think she was glad that she’d done that.

I suppose what interested me most about this incident, and still interests me, is that she called. She put the boxes out on the curb for the trash truck—but then she called someone. I took her phone message as a question. Do you think the writing is trash?

No. I didn’t. I don’t.

Given a similar phone message, I’d do the same—call back with similar advice. I think a second opinion can be of much benefit when it may seem for a time that the writing—or some other potentially valuable thing—is of no worth. On that day, I was able to serve as that second opinion.